House As We Knew It: Life of Unending Memories
Author: Vasvi Tiwari
Published by Notion Press
MRP: Rs. 399/-
Growing up, our homes become such an integral part of our identity. The memories made within those walls, both good and bad, shape who we become as adults. In her debut novel "House as we knew it", Vasvi Tiwari beautifully explores the emotional connection between a woman and her childhood home.
Through the eyes of protagonist Samriddhi, Tiwari transports us to the quaint fictional town of Prem Nagar and into the chaotic yet warm embrace of the family. Their ancestral home, the aptly named "Sukh-Sadan", serves as the backdrop for a poignant multi-generational family saga.
As financial troubles threaten the potential sale of Sukh-Sadan, Tiwari delves into Samriddhi's memories of the home. We get a glimpse into her unconventional upbringing as part of the eccentric household. Despite the chaos of ten children running amok, Sukh-Sadan provided a sense of comfort and belonging.
Tiwari's Descriptions of the home's architecture and Samriddhi's interactions with various nooks and crannies of the house are incredibly vivid. You can visualize walking through the large courtyard, preparing tea in the kitchen, or admiring the handcrafted teak furniture. The house comes alive as its own character in the story.
Beyond the setting, the characters shine through as well. Tiwari has crafted a diverse cast featuring complex family dynamics. Despite their flaws, you cannot help but fall in love with the family. The quirky nicknames for each child, their distinct personalities, and their unconditional love for one another leaps off the page.
Sprinkled amongst Samriddhi's recollections of childhood antics are somber moments as well. Tiwari explores heavier themes like the struggles of womanhood and harassment. She also sheds light on the caste prejudices still prevalent in Indian society today.
The lyrical quality of Tiwari's prose impressed me most. Her writing evokes all five senses, pulling you deeper into nostalgic memories of Samriddhi's. Certain lines are so striking they warrant a second read. Tiwari's talent for sharp yet beautiful observations combined with her flair for drama makes for an engaging reading experience.
As someone who also grew up in a bustling multi-generational household, this story resonated deeply. Tiwari authentically captures the chaos, laughter, and indelible memories that make a house a home. For any reader who has experienced that profound connection with a childhood dwelling, "House as we knew it" will undoubtedly strike an emotional chord.
Beyond just the engrossing family saga, the themes explored will stay with you long after turning the final page. We watch Samriddhi grapple with the inevitability of change as she considers saying goodbye to Sukh-Sadan. Tiwari leaves us pondering important questions about the influence of our roots, evolving family dynamics, and how we carry our homes within even after we leave.
For a novelist, Vasvi Tiwari's skills are undeniable. With vivid character development and a profound emotional core, "House as we knew it" heralds the arrival of a talented new voice in Indian fiction. This is contemporary storytelling at its finest. Pick up a copy and embark on an unforgettable journey back home.
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